Anna Girling


I have an MA in English and Modern History from the University of St. Andrews and an MA in English Literature from York University in Toronto.

I am Member-at-Large on the Executve Board of the Edith Wharton Society ( and Postgraduate Representative on the Advisory Council of the Institute of English Studies ( I am happy to be contacted in relation to these roles - as well as about my own research.

Undergraduate teaching

English Literature 2

I am also a mentor for the online course, How to Read a Novel:

Research summary

My doctoral research looks at the the relationship between Edith Wharton's work and the marketplace (literary or otherwise), and at the ways in which late nineteenth and early twentieth-century antimodernism and ambivalence about capitalism and relativism shaped her writing.

More broadly, I am interested in early twentieth-century American and British literature, with particular interests in camp, cosmopolitanism, internationalism, middlebrow and detective fiction, memoir, and transatlantic publishing history, especially during the Cold War.


I also occasionally write fiction reviews for the Times Literary Supplement (

I wrote this blog post ( for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities in the summer of 2020 about my experience of being an un-funded PhD student.


  • 'Queer Time, Family Time and "Real Life" in The Age of Innocence', Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Chicago, January 2019.
  • Organiser (for Transatlantic Literary Women): 'Women in the Archives', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 25 September 2018.
  • Panel organiser: ‘Edith Wharton’s Protest Novel? Rethinking The Fruit of the Tree’; Paper: ‘Family Money: Wealth, philanthropy and “inherited obligations” in The Fruit of the Tree’; European and British Associations of American Studies, King’s College London, University College London and the British Library, April 2018.
  • ‘Intellectual Vagrants and Mechanical Readers: The Promise of Tautological Value in The House of Mirth and “The Vice of Reading”’, Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, July 2017.
  • “Quibbles and compromises and moral subtleties”: casuistry and anti-Catholicism in Edith Wharton’s early career’, British Association of American Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University, April 2017.
  • '"Quibbles and compromises and moral subtleties": Casuistry and Anti-Catholicism in Edith Wharton's "That Good May Come"., Wharton in Washington (Edith Wharton Society Conference), Washington, DC, June 2016.
  • "The gift you can't escape": debt and the (im)possibility of redemption in Edith Wharton's The Touchstone,' American Literature Association Annual Conference, Boston, May 2015.
  • ‘“Agrope among alien forces”: alchemical transformations and capitalist transactions in Edith Wharton’s The Touchstone’, Scottish Association for the Study of America Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, March 2015.
  • ‘The Point is to (Ex)Change It: Exchange, value and desire in The House of Mirth’, Edith Wharton and The Custom of the Country: Centennial Reappraisals (An Edith Wharton International Symposium), Liverpool Hope University, August 2013.
  • ‘Sheep and dogs and the Scotch psychic sense: Mackenzie King’s genealogical excursions’, William Lyon Mackenzie King: Unsung Hero?, British Association for Canadian Studies (BACS) History and Politics Group Conference, University College London (UCL) Institute of the Americas, July 2013.
  • ‘Epilepsy as Illness, Blindness as Metaphor: Epileptic and Mis(sing)representation’, International Comics and Graphic Novel and International Bande Dessinée Society Joint Conference, University of Glasgow and University of Dundee, June 2013.
  • ‘“Boy Fenwick of Careless-Days-Before-The-War”: Remembering (the) Boy and Forgetting the War in Michael Arlen’s The Green Hat’. Alternative Modernisms, University of Cardiff, May 2013.
  • ‘Blind Hope: The Day of the Locust and the Promise of Dystopia’. The Future Ain't What It Used To Be: Interactions of Past, Present and Future in Literature and Visual Media, University of Dundee, June 2009.

Invited talks

  • ‘Edith McWharton? Edith Wharton in Scotland’s Archives,’ University of Glasgow, Transatlantic Literary Women Edith Wharton Workshop, October 2017.

  • ‘“Maddened with War”: Nancy Cunard and the First World War’, Transatlantic Women in the Trenches, Pollok Park, Glasgow (public lecture as part of the Cultural Connections: Transatlantic Literary Women project), April 2017.

I have also appeared on the TLS podcast, 'Freedom, Books, Flowers & the Moon' (, a number of times.